tv Washington This Week CSPAN July 21, 2013 10:30am-2:01pm EDT
how do you see this playing out? >> it is going to be very interesting. he mentioned the bill with the senator. moderate democrats that voted for that did not bode well. not be surprised to see that come up again along with the healthcare in the differences. there was not a vote for a climate bill. you are going to see this. they're going to see this from the congress going against the epa to see where they stand on these issues in preparation for the midterm. i see this being an issue for democrats in states that are heavy fossil fuel users, whether coal state. is stillonomy
recovering. what is the temperament? there are concerns that there may be any climate changes. and the impact on jobs? everybody claims to be an environmentalist and wants a healthy planet and does that one the planet to heat up. when he asked them what they feel about the effects of higher electricity bills net the gasoline pump, they do not like that. until we get some of these they'rees online, going from a fossil fuel path to a renewable future. the renewable future will bring a whole new set of jobs. that is not going to happen overnight. you're not replace that with a wind or a solar job
instantaneously. when people cost -- talk about the cost, then they're less supportive. click we're out of time. we are expecting this will for -- transfer to the house of representatives. >> do not hold your breath. it is the same partisan divisions we saw in last congress. it is not changed anything. >> thank you for your time. >> inc.'s a lot. -- thanks a lot. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] tax exemptg on the applications. then a senate judiciary committee on the voter rights act. later, another opportunity to see "newsmakers" with henry waxman of california. when the government affects
the new economy, it drives everybody in this tension to raise the standard of existence. it increases the value of everybody's property. it raises the scale of everybody's wages. is the economy in government. the's the very first -- >> very first sound film is calvin coolidge talking about economic holocene. titillatinge most film in the world. it is fascinating to see him. we are going to reach a day very soon when there are tremendous bouts of material waiting for a new generation of them to
search for it. there is a lot of stories that can be told in our collection. we are so eager to make more of it available for people to discover. >> more about the public affairs film. it is part of american television. this past week the house oversight and government reform committee heard from department officials on procedures and is doing tax exempt applications and the question whether this was originally misspelled from progressive groups. five hours. over
they have a right to know the money takes is well spent. americans deserve an effective government that works for them. to protectee is those rights. are solidly sponsored ability is to hold government accountable to taxpayers. taxpayers have a right to know what they get from their government. to deliverob to work the facts to the american people. this hearing touches on taxpayers and what they should expect. it continues the investigation irs the eye or rest -- treatment and to those applying tax exempt status. some of them were groups for you receive a taxes action
if you give. groups for whom you do not receive a tax deduction for your contribution but huge and not paid the same corporate taxes on that income. via airst came to life question directed off the learner's request may 10. designedthe planting, to obstruct the truth and break the news to a sympathetic audience that friday afternoon, this committee had worked with our inspect your general and treasury for more than 10 months. multiple committees of the house of representatives had one difference. in response to the question, lois lerner blames the
inappropriate activities of people in cincinnati. irseye arrest -- the believe this would help it quickly dissipate. it did not. we're going to hear from one of those employees in cincinnati. our committee has heard from many of them. we have also began hearing from people be reported to or exchange information with in washington. the white house secretary continues a narrative characterizing the inappropriate induct by officials cincinnati. the hearing needs to dispel that so we can begin following the witnesses and testimony and truth wherever it leads. d that asw convince
the inspector general found in his investigation that what began in cincinnati with one case of a tea party application soon was at levels well above line employees. absurd. this was we would hear that today. more importantly, it is more understood that these hundreds of files were in many hands. many were not in cincinnati. ,s you look for the truth weekend of ang many things along the way. we will probably never debunked all acquisitions or should we
make accusations unless it takes us there. we can debunk the accusations ort cincinnati was source that it did not go to washington, which it clearly did. particularly when we hear from the honorable russell george who brought us this and his staff. i think we will find out more within the limits of his ability to tell us. suretainly want to make that this stops here today. i want to caution the ladies and gentlemen on both sides of the aisle. we will work with what we know. we will work to find out what we do not know. one, and i hope everyone will read jack categorically
assumptions for which there is not evidence. whos difficult to say should have come forward first. we know one thing. conservative groups came accusations their of more than 10 months ago. they were heard. we know that members of both parties sent letters to the irs. this is an important area we cannot overlook. everything we have learned of real substance begins with mr. of taxs investigation exempt organizations since march of 2010. our investigation will continue. --ope my south of the aisle
my side of the aisle will be cautious in what we say. when i say something goes to the that isf the console, not to be construed as the office of president or to the console themselves. it is important that we understand that words matter. nuance is not sure, and that we not go one step beyond what we know. what we do know today is that washington made a's catastrophic -- made a catastrophic mistake in a one by one application evaluating them as he has done for or the ,ight years, excepting them denying them, or asking for more information and not looking at them as a group with some sort of cynicism. if that is not what america expects. they are not expected as groups.
one the questions i will ask they were be if fairly evaluated, wouldn't some of these cases have been resolved if they were not lumped into a group? until i getease that answer. lastly, there have been accusations leveled against the inspector general and the work he has done. this is the most important place to resolve that. over all theight inspector general's. we control the legislation that created the position and we take seriously the accusations about the independence. stand solidly behind the best efforts of all of our inspector general's. then accusation occurs, we will take it off. want to make sure i
make something clear. you are frustrated about this interpretation. you have made that clear. i am frustrated about it. i believe the committee must ensure the fair interpretation of this law designed to protect is notrs information used to re-victimize people who have previously been victimized. i will work with anyone else to make sure we protect victims to finding out what happened to them. >> thank you very much. we come today to seek the truth, butwhole truth, and nothing the truth so help me god. ago on may 22 we met on
this room to hear testimony about a report from the inspect your general about the review of groups applying for tax exempt status. at time there is justifiable outrage including from you. -- including from me about the inappropriate search terms to screen these groups in the unacceptable delays they endured. we are not only concerned about conservative groups, we are concerned about all groups in all individuals who have anything to do with the irs. they have engaged in asus deigned and coordinated can't accuse the president and white house of targeting groups for partisan
political purposes without any evidence to support these claims. our chairman led the charge, saying this was "targeting of the president political enemies." other republicans followed suit. they cited "they list out of the white house. they said president obama "does not have clean hands." i issued a memo that since the chairman first began making these accusations, they have identified no evidence ortsoever, documentary
otherwise to substantiate them. i asked that this be entered into the record. >> without objection. the staff now has conduct did 16 transcribed interviews of employees in cincinnati and washington dc. one tuesday.r who identified themselves as republicans. they indicated they sought guidance on how to process these applications in a consistent manner according to the law. a tax law specialist in washington, dc, one who identifies herself as a republican called the
accusations "laughable." that they did not have enough guidance on. area.s a very difficult there is not much guidance. waslingering link of time just trying to apply this to the s of each case. even today, this very morning, the chairman is still having appearing in usa today. they asked the question, was the targeting directive from the white house? or somewhere else outside the u.s.? as our investigation is ongoing,
this should be withheld. this is unsubstantiated nonsense. andndermines the integrity every member of this body's integrity and it destroys the credibility. they do not hold judgment. he rushed to it with no evidence whatsoever. the responsible answers that we have no evidence to back up that claim. weeks ago,hearing a we have attained new documents that raise serious questions about the report. i am glad to hear that the to hear certain
it is what he may have found out. i also want to ask why he was unaware on documents of why we are now obtained and why they this.ble to screen i want to know how he plans to adjust these documents. conservative groups on both sides of the aisle. be treated must fairly. finally, i want to ask the general about some very troubling testimony we heard yesterday from the head of the irs. he testified that irs was about to produce unredacted documents
to the committee last week that to the non-rences tea party groups. the inspector general personally intervened to block the irs from releasing the to this committee. none would ever recall such an unprecedented intervention. we need to know why that was. i am not here today to attack anyone. i am here to get to the truth. not a partial or selective truth that the whole truth. i believe that should be the goal of everyone in this room. makingeed to stop baseless acquisitions -- accusations. look into the
treatment of all of these groups, conservatives, liberals, everyone in between. can do thathope we today. >> i think all members will have until the end of the day to submit written statements. we now welcome our first panel of witnesses. she is a revenue agent and exempt organizations for quality assurance in the cincinnati office of the internal revenue service. tax law specialist at the technical unit in washington, dc and was with the internal revenue service with the next sounding 48 years of service. we want to thank you for your service. raise your right hands.
do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? let the record reflect that both witnesses answered in the affirmative. i know sometimes prepared statement are the best way to go. i am not going to dissuade you from it. use your five minutes in any way you want. you can abbreviate your statements. when you see the countdown coming close, please wrap up. thank you. since 1999, i have been an employee of the office of exempt organizations in cincinnati. at the time, i0,
have been assigned to serve as emerging issues coordinator. i was tasked with handing out applications that have been identified. in late april i was assigned to handle all applications by tea party groups. around april 30, 2010, approximately 20 applications were assigned to me. i received a steady flow of applications. there were occasions when they were sent by non-tea party type groups. i would send this since they were not within the scope of the tea party emerging issue. run the same time these were a sign i learned that two party
applications have been assigned. i was told to coordinate these reviews. i called mr. hall. he said -- sent me a development letter. he requested that i send a draft and asked me to send him copies. i would make the edit and send them to the applicants. id notified him who said that send these. beginning somewhat this summer in 2010 when i sent jeff
development letters, i received no guidance from him or anyone else. experience this was a highly unusual process. i never before had to send development letters i drafted in a never had to send copies of cap locations that were assigned to me. i was frustrated. what i perceived was micromanagement. i received numerous calls asking about the status of the application. is only able to tell them that these were under review. i became very frustrated. i was unable to process these applications. . expressed my concerns i applied for a transfer to quality assurance. in october i received the
request to transfer. had assigned were reassigned to another agent. i had a total of 40-60 cases assigned to me at that time. atttended several meetings which i was given. they tell me the purpose was to consolidate into a single document all the instructions they received about certain instructions. it had other descriptions of groups. they tell me0, the language with respect to tea party groups. i sent the documents. to send this to cindy thomas and a couple of other managers. he told me to e-mail the list to everyone else in cincinnati.
since october 2010, i had no direct involvement in the processing of tea party applications aside from occasionally reviewing them. tea party applications have been awaiting guidance. them with development letters in 2010. i had no role in the processing of tea party applications. >> thank you. members of the committee, as a spring of 2010, i was employed in washington, dc.
assigned to work on applications from groups. came aware that they're being held by determinations. it was my understanding that the implications i was also told by my supervisor i was to core data review the two-party applications that were assigned in cincinnati. with respect to the two applications assigned to me, i reviewed the materials and sent out initial development letters to the applicants. when one of those did not respond, the file was closed and i was assigned another tea party application to replace it. as part of my review, i also researched determinations made with respect to previous applications by groups applying to tax-exempt status that it similar indications of political activity.
throughout this process i spoke to my reviewer about these cases. at some point, i don't have a clear memory as to when, i made inclusions as to how the applications assigned to me should be determined. i subsequently drafted documents stating my recommendations and analysis. i am constrained from saying more about these applications due to prohibitions regarding the disclosure of taxpayer information. i discuss my recommendations and she suggested i forward the recommendations to judy kindle who was at that time a senior technical advisor to lois lerner. i later had a meeting with them judyrch 2011 at which kendall told me to afford my recommendations for the review. while this process was going on, i received draft development letters. therder to assess appropriateness of the questions she had drafted for the applications assigned to her, i
asked her to send me copies of the applications as well. i gave her suggestions regarding her letters over the telephone. i also asked her to send the responses to the letters she received. however, i was not able to give her guidance on those responses because the review of the test cases assigned to me had not been completed. at some point i stopped giving her feedback regarding draft development letters for the same reason. preparedis time i sensitive case reports on a monthly basis regarding the tea party applications. in 2010, i also wrote a memorandum to the eeo director that described the coordination of the tea party cases in cincinnati. i attached a list of all the tea party cases i had received from ms. ho baker. in the summer of 2011, i recall attending to meetings leading to the tea party applications. in july 2011, i attended a
several people. ms. lender let the meeting and instructed everyone the applications should be referred to as advocacy applications and applications. in august 2011, i attended the meeting in which the applications assigned to me were discussed. i recall that don stallman, david marshall, and amy franklin were at the meeting as well as tax law specialists. i recall that ms. franklin or someone else in the chief counsel's office stated that more current information was needed from applications in a second development letter to be sent to the applicants. i recall a discussion of by the creation of a template letter for the applications. i expressed my opinion. a template was not a good idea as there was a great deal of variance among the groups and
each application needed to be developed according to its particular facts and circumstances. after the august 2011 meeting, the applications assigned to me were transferred to another tax law specialist. after the applications were transferred, i had no further involvement with respect to the tea party applications. thank you. >> thank you. i'm going to start with a round of questions, mostly pretty much yes or no if at all possible. mrs. hall baker, is it true you are unable to close any tea party cases because you are waiting on guidance for mr. hull? >> yes. >> mr. hull, why were you unable to give her guidance she guess i will abbreviate it by saying, were you waiting on answers from chief counsel and lois lerner and is that effectively what you're opening testimony said? >> [indiscernible]
i was awaiting word from chief counsel on how to proceed. >> thank you. mr. hall, you testified you made recommendation in these cases, so correct? >> that is correct. >> under some caution, you're not prepared to tell us your recommendation at this time, correct? >> i am prepared to tell you one was an application that things should be exempt and one was an application i said they should be denied. >> the rap limitations -- there were applications recommended yes and no. were those heede? in other words, today agree and not act on it or not at on it? it is fair to say when you recommended yes, you got told, go get more information. box correct. >> you have 48 years of experience.
throughout those 48 years, did you ordinarily for similar cases to the ones you're speaking have enough fact to close these cases and were you often overruled in those decisions? recall, but i was overruled. i'm not sure. it goes back a long way. >> and with your 48 years of experience, your recommendation was that these cases should be treated as individuals, but in fact, they were treated as a group over your recommendations, correct? >> i recommended each organization as i sauced it. those two organizations. >> can we put up the slide? ok. , one of your superiors told the committee staff lois lerner sent him an e-mail saying
-- these cases need to go andugh a multitiered review they will eventually have to go to ms. lerner's senior adviser and the chief counsel's office. is this consistent with the instructions you received? >> i don't ever recall seeing that in a memo. >> but is it consistent with the instructions you believe you received? >> yes. >> is that unusual? >> yes. >> particularly the multitiered process, correct? >> oftentimes there is more than one reviewer, but multitiered is unusual. hawbaker, do you know anyone you would say your opinion have political motives in the role of treating of tea party groups?
>> mr. hullnot read , to your personal knowledge, do you know of anyone in washington or cincinnati, for either view,, that you know have political motives against the tea party groups? >> no, sir. have any personal knowledge of lois lerner's politics, activities or motives? >> no, sir. >> one of the challenges we have here is determining whether or not specifically there was special treatment and your knowledge of tea party groups. ms. hofacre, you only worked on tea party groups?
>> correct, in 2010. >> the special treatment that you experienced was specifically related to groups who had been gathered some 298 is the number and 471turn the tenure to date, for special treatment, correct? >> yes, that is correct. >> you have 48 years of service and i cannot say that enough without realizing what a unique long career that is. can you give us a single valid reason for groups to be lumped together longot granted for this time, realizing you did not look at all of these, but can you give us a reason where in history you have seen that kind of lumping together of people four, any kind) of delays? >> i don't think i can answer that question, sir.
>> but you don't have any expense of sing it? >> i don't. >> we go to the ranking member. >> thank you very much. to you, before i begin, i want to take a moment to thank you ms. hofacre through 14 years of service and to you, mr. hull, for your 48 years. be -- it is an tough environment to be in. mr. hull, you are retired. i am sure there are many things you would rather be doing. amen. and to you, ms. hofacre, i want the we arerstand simply seeking the truth. that's all. -- let me go back to one thing. the chairman invited only two of you today and he did not invite
any of the other 14 irs employees who were interviewed, even though they could help provide a more complete explanation of what occurred. at any rate, i just weighed to answer the questions as best you can and that's all we can expect. the report, since was released, we have been hearing over and over again from the republicans the obama administration in the white house were responsible for the both targeting of tea party groups for political reasons, even the chairman's op-ed this morning in usa today continues to raise questions about whether the white house "directed" the targeting -- >> pretty gentleman yield? >> yes. >> i would hope you're not linking the two. i've never said it was the president or a never said he directed it read my questions
were posed as questions, not conclusions. >> if you will let me finish, you will see -- >> thank you. >> stating facts. 16 interviews of already been added, reviewed thousands of documents and found no evidence. despite the fact the inspector general found no evidence of white house involvement. given the sustain focus on the supposed involvement of the white house, i have no choice but to ask about your personal knowledge about whether the white house was involved. ms. hofacre, let me start with you. during your and your view with the committee staff you are asked this question, are you aware of any political bias by employees in the cincinnati office against tea party organizations. you responded, no, i am not.
is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> you also asked this question, are you aware of any political motivations behind the development in screening and grouping of tea party cases and again he responded, no, i am not. correct? >> yes, sir. >> is your testimony the same today? >> yes, sir. >> did you ever received directions from anyone in the white house concerning your handling of the tea party applications? looks no, sir, i did not. >> we heard exactly the same thing from every -- just to let you know, we are the same thing you just said from every single person we interviewed. 16 of you all. so i don't understand why this keeps -- why these allegations keep cropping up. mr. hofacre, senator mitch mcconnell least a video that was
paid for by his political campaign and i would like to read what it says. , but it know about you think the leader of the free world and his advisers have better things to do then dig through other people's tax returns. what they're trying to do is intimidate donors to outside groups that are critical of the administration. they have the irs, the sdc and other agencies going after the contributors." basicallye, you have already answer this question, but you have any knowledge personally of the president digging through white house to link to other people's tax returns? >> no, i don't have any personal knowledge. i have no knowledge. all againto thank you for being with us today. there has been a no greater
defender of public employees. the great words of one of my favorite theologians who says so often the great things that people do unknown, unseen, unappreciated, and applauded. i take this moment to thank you for what you have done, continue to do, and thank you for being great public servants. thank you. >> we now go to the gentleman from ohio r. ,> briefly, maybe tell a story i keep saying it wasn't in cincinnati if we see it leading to washington. we now see it leaving today to washington. reminds me that although i expect the right to say it immediately leads to the white house, i'm always shocked when the ranking member seems to want to say, like a little boy whose
hand is caught in the cookie jar, what hand, what cookie? i never said it leads to the white house. we have gone out of our way to say we are following these facts. hopefully, when these kinds of statements come up people understand we are following the fax. they undeniably lead to washington, to the offices of lois lerner and the consulate and that is what we are saying your today. >> this is my time. mr. cummings was attempting to interrupt. let me say, i know neither of you have any direct personal knowledge of whether the president of the united states had lunch yesterday. mr. cummings can ask you whether or not the president of the united states had lunch and neither of you will have no personal knowledge. so asking questions that we know you're not here to prove or have information about about, really is a role of mentor discussion. i want to ask both of you about
what we have heard so far in this testimony previously, i want to thank you both because you're coming forward and being honest. there are those that not only want to stick their heads in the sand, but they don't want us to find out. both of you are telling the truth and honestly telling us what happened. this was not just erected out of ohio read ms. hofacre, i am from dayton, ohio, so i was kind of personally offended when it was placed as a label as a bunch of rogue employees in cincinnati because what we know now from you and mr. hull, definitively, under oath, that was not true. if we had stopped his investigation previously, we would just have the answers that this was some rogue employee. ms. hofacre, how did you feel when they said that, when you knew it was not the case? >> sir, i was deeply offended. it empty and my reputation and the reputation of other agencies --agents.
the >> mr. hull, yet had a great career, dedicated to what we we know is one where we have people who execute people -- things honestly and with detail. you have dedicated yourself to the principles of that. how did you feel when they were saying it was just cincinnati when he knew also that was not the case from your involvement? >> i didn't feel i had anything to say, sir. >> it would seem to me you would feel as ms. hofacre, doesn't your dedicated to making certain the truth to these things were executed that it also violated your sense of really, integrity. i want to ask both of you, have either of you been contacted by the department of justice or the fbi to be questioned about this matter? >> yes, i have. >> who was it? >> both. ?> mr. hull >> i was contacted by the department of justice. >> one of the questions we have
had from the beginning is this should not merely be an issue of irs but lois lerner issuing a thecy, -- apology, but public should not be afraid of their government. , laws should be enforced to make sure that that doesn't happen. i have a bill 1950 that would make this a specific crime. we're hopeful the department of justice and fbi looks into this and don't merely stop and stick their heads in the sand as some of those wish we would do, but actively look at all of the aspects of this to make certain we can hold people accountable and make certain this doesn't happen again. , you had said this was different, that this was not what your experience had been before. you said, i can recall it ever happening that you had been overturned or things had this type of delay.
is there process by which you could enter an inquiry into this is unusual, that you might have been able to report this to supervisors or record that this process was unusual and , by you, needed additional scrutiny? >> that is not part of my duties, sir. it was not part of my duties to complain about what the process would be. >> so you would not have a form to which to say this is other concern and have someone else review the fact you are being reviewed? >> as a tax law specialist, any suggestion that i had a determination of would go to a reviewer and the reviewer would either agree or disagree with me , whereupon we would have a discussion about it or you do further review is the on that is very rare, but it did happen in this particular case. >> thank you both for your
honesty. mr. chairman. the gentlemano from virginia, mr. connolly. >> thank you. thank you both for being here. , i agree with the opening statement of artist listenedchairman i carefully to what was said. we should not rush to judgment. .ords mean something we need to be careful. and if only those very commonsensical runcible's had been at work -- principles had been at work when the prosecutor president a paid liar, rush to judgment? words mean something? insist time just now to
that the ranking member is wrong in suggesting he had rushed to judgment and deliberately took what not only turns out to be not much of a scandal, bad judgment balanced -- they went after progressives as well as conservatives -- and it is a terrible thing when the narrative we have got in our heads doesn't quite work out because the facts don't back them up and witnesses we call to back them up turn out to be flawed -- not you. >> with the gentleman yield? >> i will in the second, mr. chairman. quote i yield, i redact a from the chairman on national television. he just assured us he never linked the president to this. i read this "this was the
targeting of the president's political enemies read effectively and lies about it during the election year so that it wasn't discovered until afterwards." now that is the narrative. there is no evidence, including from these witnesses today, that is true. so when the chairman cautions us correctly to withhold judgment, to be careful words mean something, i wonder whether the chairman wants to retract his own statements, including that when i just read on television? think the gentleman and look forward to seeing evidence of progressive groups retreated equally harshly delayed and then anything more than looked at, but i will say this. i think it is fair to say today that with the harsh statements the president made about tea party groups and the way the tea party groups feel about the president to serving of the constitution is expansion beyond his powers, yes, they are enemies of the president's
politics. i stand by that. >> i reclaim my time. you can stand by that, mr. chairman, but that wasn't your initial narrative. initially there was an enemies list and it was limited to conservative groups like the tea party, and that is not true. in fact, the evidence tells us that is not true. more and more evidence coming out the inspector general cherry picked evidence to help with your narrative. we will hear from him in the next panel. but the fact the tea party -- >> with the gentleman yield? >> no, sir. >> we are stopping the clock. folks, we're going to take about a five-minute recess until that stops. your time will be preserved. we will stand in recess for five minutes until we get that stopped. >> the gentleman from virginia
may continue in ready. >> we left off with you saying you welcomed them aquatic evidence -- democratic evidence, that progressives and other groups were targeted. this press release be entered into the record from the ways and means committee, but i will read from it, the group of democratic leaning organizations was denied tax-exempt status by the irs after their applications were pending for over three years. these denials happened during the period of the audit, but they were not disclosed by the ig in the audit report or during his testimony before our committee in the ways and means committee. these applications were processed in the same manner as the tea party cases outlined in may.udit report released there were the subject of a
sensitive case report, subject to multiple levels of review within the irs, and reviewed by the irs chief counsel. i would be glad to make sure this evidence from the ways and means committee is provided to the chairman and his staff and a would ask this be entered into the record. for the gentleman as long you don't want to call it evidence. we don't call press releases evidence. >> i'm not referring to this as evidence. it describes evidence and i'm happy to make sure that evidence is made available to you. >> we look forward to seeing that evidence that is not the provided at this time, but i think the gentleman and without objection and will be entered into the record. >> i thank the chairman and our witnesses and i'm sorry you have to be here today, but thank you for coming. >> we now go to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, just a comment
observing this process today and through the past couple of months that we have been working on this irs thing, i am disappointed the ranking member and the other side of the aisle continuously try to close down this process of discovery, get to the bottom of what -- >> with the gentleman yield for five seconds? that is absolutely not true. >> i did not yield, but he said that. we started this on the 22nd of may. on the ninth of june, mr. cummings said -- you can put it up on the screen -- based on everything i've seen, the case is solved. started almost immediately to try to close this down. when they couldn't do that, they tried to discredit the chairman
and then they released time and time again, as we interviewed folks, different transcripts, taking parts out and trying again to discredit the process. when they couldn't discredit the chairman and we proceeded in a very orderly fashion, now they are attempting to discredit the inspector general. i find that offensive because whether they targeted conservative or progressive groups, it is our responsibility to get to the truth and find out what happened. we have done this in a methodical manner. in fact, we first went to the cincinnati folks -- mr. hull, you're the second irs official at the washington level we have, i understand, correct mr. chairman? i think there were eight folks were so that we interviewed, rogue employees that i've never met before, but [indiscernible]
in any event, you started getting these cases in the beginning 2010, was it? >> sir, he was the end of april 2010. >> ok, the beginning of 2010. this wasn't a targeting by a group of your colleagues in cincinnati that decided we're going to go after folks. most of the cases you got, were they tea party or patriot cases? >> sir, they were all tea party or patriot cases. of cases?e progress >> i on the project until october 2010 and i was only instructed to work tea party /patriot/912 organizations. >> and you sought counsel for
advice from higher up in washington and that was mr. hull sitting next to you? >> yes, sir, i was instructed to contact mr. hull. >> did you get advice back what was happening at the local scene? affected, were they contacting you or you're just waiting for hull? what was going on? >> i'm not real clear on what you're asking. >> like taxpayers, those that committed these requests, did you hear from them at all? >> yes, sir, when certain taxpayers responded, as mr. hull and i earlier said, i sent him a copy of the response and he was to get back to me in order to process the response. the taxpayers call me when i had not gotten any instruction from mr. hull. >> and that didn't happen, so, mr. hull, you had also contact ms. lerner for advice and counsel?
i also understand the irs counsel, correct? >> i gave my recommendations to my reviewer. my reviewer sent them up to mr. -- ms. kandel who suggested they should go to chief counsel. >> so kandel is in lerner's office -- did she tell you something had gone to the legal counsel? suggested or said the cases should go to the the chief counsel. >> and the chief counsel is one of the two irs employees that are political appointees, correct? i think that is the case. find the cincinnati rogue employees -- " employees" are asking for advice from washington. you are in washington.
you're the second person with had from washington. i think we had mr. shulman was the only other one? we are just beginning this investigation. are just starting this. it is not going to be closed down. >> with the gentleman wrap up? >> yes. mr., you sought advice from above and that did not come. finally, what happened? did you step aside or seek another assignment? >> the gentleman may ask -- answer briefly. me, sir?u asking >> i was trying to get back to her not getting answers, the --stration she experienced >> do you understand the question? >> sir, yes, i do get transferred out of their.
>> at your request? yes. >> mr. lynch. >> thank you. i think the ranking member and the witnesses for coming before the committee and trying to help us with our work. i would like to try to reset this if i could. it seems you're getting into a debate about whether or not it was fair for the irs to add enhanced scrutiny for tea party groups. if they did the same thing for progressive groups. i just want to point out when the inspector general came before the committee, mr. george, he indicated there were three possible occasions of u.s. citizens that were subject to enhanced scrutiny. one comic identify tea party groups, patriot groups, ones of a more conservative ideology. he also mentioned progressive
groups but also mentioned another category that sort of assumes both those groups. he said there were enhanced of groups that were critical of the way the government was being run. which in my district, is about 90% of the population. including myself. i think it is unfortunate the allegations against a white house were made because it ofame a game of gotcha whether or not the white house was somehow implicated. those facts are not in evidence, yet. but i think we're missing an opportunity here because what we do know is the irs was targeting groups who were critical of the way the government is being run. which is a core democratic right.
right for every citizen. , and youre experience, have you come across groups that were targeted -- you could call it, criticism of the way the government is being run. >> no, sir, i have not. >> mr. hull? >> i'm not aware of any, sir. but you are aware of instances where patriot or tea party were investigated? >> only when i read the newspapers, sir. >> only what? >> only what i read in the newspaper. >> sir, i don't understand what you're asking. folks do you think the
that had those labels, why do you think they were being investigated? >> do you mean scrutinized by ?he irs >> yes. --ach is investigated >> these are beyond the lookout, be on the lookout for patriot, be on the lookout for tea party i mean, help me if you can read those soon-to-be political .ositions so the irs is focusing on that. i'm just curious -- >> when i was there in 2010, sir, i was instructed to develop these applications. >>uh-huh. what does that mean? >> means somebody else screamed
at them out for whatever reason i was assigned these applications them met the parameters of tea parties. >> ok. why are these people being singled out? >> because the screeners identified they should be screened for this particular reason. >> who is the individual who screened them for you? >> well, it was a whole group. there were several screeners. ok. i have about 20 seconds left. i just think it is disgraceful that we are squandering this opportunity to get to the bottom of this because of partisan bickering. one group trying to blame the president and the other trying
to defend themselves the progressives were also being targeted. i think it is very unfortunate because i think the root of this matter is that people who are critical of the way this government is being run were being targeted. regardless of what the source of their complaint was, they were being targeted as u.s. citizens by the irs. i think we have squandered the opportunity to get to the bottom of this. i yield back. >> i have 30 seconds. mr. lynch, i couldn't agree with you more. hopefully, you're setting a tone we will all observe going forward and i will do my best. beginning -- ie stand by what i said in the beginning. i have said a 50 million times. we have got to get to the bottom of this. i've been recommendations made by the ig. i don't think people want the
iris to be destroyed, they wanted to be functioning the way it is supposed to be functioning for everyone. thank you. >> the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan. >> thank you. we have heard mr. hull in his 40 years of experience a these cases were handled in a very unusual manner and ms. hofacre, i understand in your 14 years experience, these cases were handled differently, correct? >> that is correct. >> you had 40 to 60 of these cases that were given to you in april and then in october you requested a transfer, correct? >> sir, the number you had just stated was how many i had assigned to me when i left in october 2010. initially maybe i had about 20. >> i see. prior to this, how, and was it
you would be told by some in washington to hold up applications? >> it was a very common at all. her frustration coming from the fact you felt you had enough information to go ahead and process these applications but you basically were just made to sit on them? >> my frustration primarily was i had to sit on them and wait for guidance from d.c.. ig report in may said there were 72 tea party groups, 13 patriot groups, noun told those numbers -- now i am told those numbers have been revised upwards to say there were 298 tea party groups and three groups that had the word "progressive" in the
application, zero that had the also staffy," but tells us washington officials asked for two additional tea party cases that would serve as test cases. as of the present, one of those cases is still pending and the other case, the application process was withdrawn because the person or persons could not take it anymore. is extremelye that unusual to be delayed from 2010 when you worked on these cases until now, 2013, instill all of these cases apparently are pending. >> yes, sir. this investigation was started in part because of complaints from tea party groups to various members of congress. we don't have any evidence yet or any, yet of any progressive
groups, these three that had the word "progressive" have complained any member of congress about their holdup -- if they were held up -- but you also know this was started in part not entirely from the complaints of members, but lois thatr said at a conference tea party and patriot groups were being targeted. what was your reaction when you heard about that comment? i said previously, and it was reported, i said it was like a nuclear strike. >> did you and others in the cincinnati office feel they were being unfairly blamed or used to excuse this political activity
that was going on in the washington office? >> i cannot comment on others personally i felt like it was. nuclear strike read i felt they were blaming us. >> all right, thank you very much. >> with the gentleman yield? >> yes, i will yield the rest of my time. the gentleman mr. lynch has left, but you have been asked repeatedly about the politics of it. i just want to take a moment to say that i appreciate that both of you are not political folks and that it is appropriate that no surprise you did everything as far as we know very professionally. particularly for ms. hofacre, i want to thank you for being here. you represent a larger group who have all said similar things. you are chosen quite candidly because of the timeframe that you had these cases, but we --
maybe this is not a lottery you wanted to win, but we appreciate the fact you are here today to speak on behalf of the many people you work with in cincinnati who, as far as we can tell, by the close of this hearing today, we will understand they did what they could do, they were limited as to what they could do, they moved it to washington. mr. hull, to a great extent we have had you here to show that you and others who got cases after you did what they could do as far as we know waited on others to make decisions. i thank you. to theat, we go gentlelady from california. >> thank you mr. chairman and ,hank you both for your service and a department none of us like, but we recognize the value you provide in making sure that everyone is treated equally under the law. let me start off with you ms. hofacre, isn't it true in the division within cincinnati that
you are working and that your responsibility was to determine whether or not applicants for 501(c) four status met the definition, which meant they could not primarily be engaged in political act of it he -- activity? >> yes, it is. >> as a result, it has always been your task, at least when you are doing that there, to scrutinize applications to make it was less than 50%? >> it was our job to make a determination to ensure there were 51% social welfare. -- there was as man usual increase in the number of applications during that period of time, was there not? >> i believe that is correct. >> you stated nor written testimony there were occasions when when other agents sent you applications from liberal or non-tea party type groups, when
that occurred pursuant to the instructions you were given, i would send these applications to you know inventory since they were not within the scope of the tea party emerging issue. when he met with the committee staff you are asked whether you received direction to send non- tea party cases back to general inventory. i'm going to read exchange. juror number anyone told you to send the cases back to general development? no, i don't member anything like that. to you?made sense exactly. my function was to develop tea party and work with carter hall and the tea parties. can you explain the differences 20s statements? >> ma'am, i was instructed to work tea parties. it was on the list. anything that do not meet the parameters or met the parameters in that list i sent to general inventory. >> but you did not know what happened to those non-tea party cases? >> no, ma'am, i do not. >> how many do you think you
referred to inventory? five question mark 50? >> i sent everything back that did not meet the parameters, both on the right and left. >> it was a significant number? >> it seemed at the time. >> one of the document obtained is a powerpoint presentation for a 2010 training session instructing employees on how to handle applications for tax- exempt status from groups engaged in political activities. it has photos of an elephant and a donkey -- not very good ones -- and since that employee -- says players should look for names like the following. on the next page it shows what those employees should be looking for. terms tea party, patriots, 912 project read on the following page it says to look for the word "progressive" and there is a lot of redacted information,
which i understand maybe a list of progressive or left-leaning groups. when you turn to the next page, the slideshow explains that most of these applicants will file a 501(c)4 and says the concerns are that there may be more than 50% political, possible clinical action committees. do you recall attending this training? >> i do not specifically recall. >> do you dispute you are there? >> i do not. i do not recall. >> i understand your plate was full handling these tea party applicants and you referred not to party cases back to general inventory. based on this document, it appears someone else may have been looking a progressive groups. is that a logical assumption to make? >> i don't have the fax to verify that. >> so you never talk to anyone else in the cincinnati office
that might have been looking at another segment -- >> i don't recall talking to anyone else. >> mr. chairman, based on these training materials, i think we need to see what is under those reductions and examine in more detail how these progressive cases were handled as well. >> i agree with the gentlelady, we would like to see the claim of 6103 modified to be more reasonable. i would not mention that teddy roosevelt was a progressive that the term is not automatically liberal. >> my point is there is a lot under that second alleged that has been redacted. for us to do an exhaustive investigation, we really need to know that. to the extent that ms. hofacre has testified that she did return significant numbers we should find where those numbers
of applications go and have someone testify. >> and this committee has reached out and ask and i will ask again with theoretically with a larger audience, if there is any progressive group that was held for three years, asked abuse of questions, asked about their campaign activities their board of directors, their names of the contributors and so on, i would ask them that they come forward because they can get us arcane 6103 law that causes victims not to be protected but we victimized. i join with the gentlelady that i would like to see groups on the left and right the able to come to us as a bit tums and get some resolution rather than being read victimized by a system that is supposed to protect confidential information. i join the lady with total agreement. with that we go to the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> mr. hull, yeah 48 years of experience.
were your reviews positive? >> yes, sir. >> you don't with tax-exempt status? >> yes, sir. >> you are viewed as an expert in this field, is that fair to say? >> which field, sir? >> you're dealing with politicians, you can give the yes answer. >> i'm knowledgeable about working applications. >> is it true you conducted training sessions? >> yes, i have. >> and even lois lerner was present at some? >> i don't recall. >> other witnesses have said that is the case. you were assigned the now famous to test cases that dealt with -- these were test cases of tea party groups. is that correct? >> yes. >> you said they were taken from you in august 2011, correct? yes, sir. >> they were given to hillary?
>> as far as i know. >> do you know how long she had been at the irs when she got those cases? >> i'm not sure. >> we do, because we asked her. she said, i have been since late april 2011. prior to this had she had any experience in campaign and your pension or lobbing as it tax- exempt organizations? >no. four months, never dealt with is eric, it's the two infamous test cases that are taken from a guy who's been there for 48 years with stellar evaluations and give them to this individual, correct? ok, fine. from your testimony, they were taken from you after you made recommendations on how to deal with the test cases, correct? >> correct. >> the recommendations were split.
you said want to be approved and one should be disapproved and gather further information, correct? >> correct. >> they gave them to someone who had no experience and took them away after recording juror testimony, you met with the chief counsel's office? >> correct. >> the real harassment of tea party wasn't just the fact they applied and maybe were -- the fact is, they never got resolution. even if you are denied, you have an appeals process and you can finally get some leisure. the real harassment was never getting to an answer. mr. hull, with 48 years extremes, expert, gives recommendations on the test cases, and they say, wait a minute, we're not not been let that happen. we're going to hold these cases and further harass these entities. furthermore, we will take them away from you and nokia view anymore. and we do that after he is made the recommendations and after
there's been a meeting with the chief counsel's office. that is why this is all about washington and the chief counsel's office and why we will have a stir wilkins in front of us sometime in the future. ms. hofacre, you have been with the irs for 14 years much mark >> yes. >> you are a veteran? >> i was with active-duty and reserve. tell me how you felt when lois lerner on may 10 goes public and says, this was inappropriate actions by line people in cincinnati? >> sir, like i said, it was like a nuclear strike. >> i think that is the term you used -- >> with the earlier interviews. with one of agree your bosses in cincinnati who said, people felt like they were being thrown under the bus? >> i'm not sure the context that was stated in, but, literally, i would agree with that statement. >> then ask one other question.
you were asked in your interview , this staff, ms. hofacre specific question -- do you think the public has been purposefully misled by assertions that cincinnati was to blame? your response was -- >> yes, i believe so. >> according to what we have, it it is exactly. two rogue agents, trumpeted out there bandied about, statements made by, made by the white house press secretary. apparent contact by iris officials in cincinnati. targeted -- the targeted groups. ,ou think folks in washington it was a purposeful misleading a fax of what took place. >> my opinion when lois lerner made that statement, that would
be correct. >> we go to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. carter. >> thank you. >> i'm sorry, mr. cartwright. >> i'm sorry, i didn't even hear you. thank you both for being here. i want to thank you both for your long service. mr. hull, according to the transcript of your interview with committee staff, you stated the processing of tea party cases was subject to "substantial delays" because "we didn't know exactly where we were going." is that so your testimony? >> yes, sir. >> what did you mean? >> i was receiving no indication of which way we should be going -- i had made some recommendations and i was not told whether they would be accepted or not. all i was told was that we
needed additional information. >> hofacre ms., you bruce lee told the committee that mr. hull took a long time to give you guidance on development letters for tea party applicants. you're not suggesting that mr. hull intentionally delayed developing tea party cases that you handled, am i correct? >> yes, sir, you are. , youck to you, mr. hull never intentionally stalled or delayed your work with ms. hofacre on the tea party cases, did you? >> no, sir. >> we have learned there was a miscommunication between the senior management and the cincinnati office and the group manager overseeing the political advocacy cases that caused a 13- month-long delay when the person ms. hofacre transferred her
cases to stop sending development letters while waiting for guidance from the technical unit. unfortunately, both the individual who held the cases and his manager at the time are republicans and neither of them was invited to testify here today to discuss that delay. i believe the delays in processing these political advocacy cases are highly problematic, but the evidence compiled by the committee does not suggest that they were intentional or motivated by bias. mr. hull, did anyone tell you to stall or delay your work on the tea party cases? >> no, sir. >> one irs official we interviewed was an attorney in
the irs office of chief counsel who worked on these cases. and when he was asked if anyone ever instructed him to stall or delay providing guidance on how to develop these cases, he no, onded as follows -- " the contrary, we were told to work extremely fast. we were given a 48 hour time deadline on the first document. we turned around and had such extremely short deadlines to turn that around." as far as you understand, i will throw it up to both witnesses, is that correct? >> i'm not aware of anything in that regard, sir. >> ok. >> i'm not either. >> thank you very much, i yield back. >> the gentleman from utah. >> i think it is important we continue on to find the truth and i appreciate you holding
this hearing and for these two fine americans who are coming forward and i appreciate your service, nearly 70 years of service between the two of you in the irs, both have served in the military and for that we are very grateful and we thank you. had yourre, we have reaction to some of the statements by some very powerful people in washington. i'd like to have you comment if you could about the accuracy of their comments. seeman reported that former commissioner miller blamed to employees in cincinnati. two roguehe quote was " agents." he blamed all this targeting on two rogue agents. >> correct. i believe it would be you
that is one of them. >> no, i was not. >> who is that management? >> when i started the project, it was joseph herr. then i was transferred to steve bowling. >> when the spokesperson for the president of the united states jay carney stood up before the american people and said "irs line personnel had incorrectly targeted conservative groups," what is the accuracy of that statement? comment tohat any rogue agents is incorrect. >> i had to be a moment when he went back home and you are by yourself, what was that like? >> like i said to the other gentlemen, it was like a nuclear fallout on me. the press hounded my family and me. they were hounding us at work.
it wasn't a character builder. >> why did they do that? >> i don't have any facts or knowledge why they said what they said or why they did what they did. >> what could you do about it? >> there's nothing i could've done. >> what did you want to do? >> go back to my life previous, before may 10. >> i guess that is the sad part of the story. i am glad the truth is servicing because i think most people now reflecting back will understand that you were more heroic in this. and really, i think i'm off when you have -- i think, when you have such senior people or powerful in washington, d.c. torture and to discredit you your person and your service, it is just wrong.
and i'm proud of the fact that we are pursuing this. you know, if we did what the white house wanted us to do, if we did with the ranking member suggested we do, this thing would be over. nothing here. don do it. as far as i'm concerned, it's over. you have the spokesperson of the president of the united states make a definitive statement that andas two rogue agents start poking at these people have no power to do anything about it, that is wrong. how dare anybody suggest that we are at the end of this. this is the beginning of this. we have to make an example of it. we need to get to the bottom of it. quite frankly, i am tired of this administration having to have these hearings. why? each time there is a pattern -- nothing here.
oh, just a couple of people. just move on. that's not true. when the ranking member went on national television and said that this case should be closed, that is wrong. >> the gentleman yields? >> yes. >> let me be clear. there are some talking points here. >> no, let me my time. >> i want to answer your allegation. >> it's the gentleman's time. >> to suggest they are just talking points -- these are not just talking points. i yields the gentleman time. >> let me be very clear. i hope the gentleman will join me when i say that when every single syllable of every single -- icript that we can get
have been asking for that and i want that. what i said was, when he came to the issue of saying that the president and the white house was responsible for this, i said that the evidence to that point continues to be not there. as far as the investigation is concerned, i want us to get to the bottom of that and i really mean that. it is very, very, very important. i just want to make that clear. >> may i ask consent for 30 seconds? >> of course. >> part of the reason it has risen to this level is because you have a white house spokesman jay carney blaming one of the people there at this table. you have a former acting commissioner saying it was two rogue agents. it was the most powerful people in washington, d.c. placing blame on the person sitting before us. and that is why i think the white house is now engaged in it. >> the gentleman is entitled to his opinion. we will stick to the facts here
at this time. we thank the gentlelady for her showing that it's not cincinnati. we go to the gentlewoman from new york. >> thank you for being here today and for your testimony. i would like to get to the bottom of this and get over with it, too. would like to ask both of you would it make your professional life easier if you are not retired and still working? if it was just very clear in the no not-for-profit that engages in political activity shall receive in any way shape or form a tax relief from the irs? would that make your life easier and doing your job easier, mr. whole? >> yes. >> i agree with mr. hull. >> i intend to put in such a bill. just stop it. let's just make sure that there
is never any confusion in the future that they you are -- that the irs is a to perform a function and not to decide whether someone is involved in political activity are not. quite frankly, most americans believe that not-for-profit's serve an important role if they are addressing social concerns and needs of this great country and deserve a tax deduction. but certainly political activity does not. andoncerns of efficiency clearness, i think that is the approach we should take in a bipartisan way. and in this, as both sides of my -- both sides of the aisle, want to do so much. we have a serious possibility -- we have a serious responsibility and constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight, but we must do it in a responsible and clear way and not make an unfounded political attack or use this incredibly important responsibility to make a
political point. that keep myths being pushed out there by the right and some others is that the obama campaign was somehow involved in directing the irs to target tea party groups for unfair scrutiny. according to all the testimony that i have read, many people testified -- only two of you are before us -- but in the depositions, they all said that there was no connection whatsoever. but to give an example of unfounded conduct and statements, i would like to quote senator rubio who recently claimed on national television that both the obama administration and president obama's campaign had attempted to use the irs. ier muscle anyone who was ther political opponent and use whatever power they have at their disposal to intimidate
people who they don't agree with." so i would like to ask both of you the same question. were any of you intimidated or contacted or influenced in any way shape or form by the obama campaign camp many -- campaign committee to do anything, mr. hull? >> no, i was not contacted your >> no, i was not. >> did anyone from the campaign either a political appointee or a volunteer or a bystander or an employee ever give instruction or direction on how to process tea party applications? did anyone interfere in the process? >> no. >> no. >> did any of your irs colleagues ever tell you that the obama campaign gave them any instructions or directions on
how to process applications for tax-exempt status of tea party applicants? >> no, they did not. >> no, they did not peer >> they are giving the exact same answers that were given also by other witnesses that were interviewed by both the republican and democratic not true, that it is is -- i want to make clear that there was no connection whatsoever. >> that's correct. >> that is correct. yourain, would it make life easier for just had clear directions from congress that no not-for-profit receive any tax reduction whatsoever if they engage in political activity? >> that would surely be of help. >> yes, it would.
>> i yield back the balance of my time. >> is there a follow-up to get clarity on your western? hull, when did the american lung association in support of an initiative in alfano, when all of those of those be a challenge in which you would like to have clarity that zero may not be the right number either? >> am not sure i would be able to answer that question, sir. >> but currently it is 5% for 501c3. you would have a challenge if you had to audit at zero for organizations such as the immaculate association that actually endorses initiatives and so on. i only ask this for the gentlelady. we are not the tax committee, what we have to work together to find solutions for this. hopefully we will recognize that the narrow interpretation of none might in fact hamper very good charities that we all support. >> will the gentleman yield?
>> of course. >> the difficulty, it appears to me, is when an employee who is trent to do their job honestly and fairly and correctly is then given the task to interpret the five percent. that is a very difficult thing to do when you don't have access to their books or their activities or everything they are doing. and given the fact that our democracy is such a sacred right -- and i want to share this with you very quickly -- the ambassador from pakistan, they just had their first these full transfer power and they are so thrilled that they had a peaceful election. we have had that honor our entire existence. and it's important to honor that and continue that honor clearly and fairly. and the allegations are very serious allegations against the american democratic system,
that the tax code would be used in any way to promote an election in any way shape or form. >>. esta gentlelady's time has really expired. >> i appreciate that they agree that they don't want to get involved in the election. >> please, really, the gentlelady's time has expired. whenever to the gentleman from michigan, mr. wahlberg. >> thank you for continuing these hearings because it is important to get to the truth. you deserve your day to have the truth come out, especially since you were put in as rogues incorrectly. in d.c. newspapers and seen on cable news that some people leave -- some people believe that the irs case is solved. we know that not to be the case. my constituents, the groups in question, those being targeted, the evidence we have uncovered
so far and continue to look for says differently. so we appreciate you being here. ms. huffaker, just to continue some questioning, where you had indicated that come in working hull, plenty of information was shared and questions were answered. but that slowed down. >> yes, sir, that is correct. >> and it might not have been direct statements from individuals above you saying slow it down. yet it was starting to slow walk in the process. >> yes, sir, as he pointed out, he stopped responding to me. >> and we know the reasons why he stopped responding or slowed it down, because of hurdles that were put in his way and disagreements that took place as well. were taxpayers calling you still during this time? >> yes, sir, the continue to call may probably until the end of 2010, beginning in 2011. >> how often?
>> initially, i got numerous calls a day. >> what did you tell them? >> i told them that the case was under review. >> how did that make you feel? >> like i said, it was like working in lost luggage. there was never any a positive response because i couldn't give them a clear answer. like i may have said in my previous testimony, every taxpayer deserved an answer because, if the answer is negative, they have other avenues they can pursue the molecular appeals to look at it at a different angle perhaps. , i remember ino your response to the committee, i remember thinking this is ridiculous. at the same time you're getting calls from irate taxpayers and i see their point, even if a decision is in favorable, they deserve some kind of treatment, they deserve some. timeliness and it was their response that was being sent up there.
i'm not sure what was happening, but i was given the same responses from carter hall, they are under review, and that is what i told taxpayers. >> i continue to say that, yes, sir. >> did you express frustration to anyone about the delays in the process? >> yes, i explain them to my manager the time, steve bowling. >> i understand you told committee staff that you expressed that frustration and what was his response? >> he was just saying that he was waiting on washington. >> i understand you switched positions in october 2010. >> yes, sir, that is correct. >> what caused you to switch positions? >> it was the frustration of working on this project. i was getting more and more tea party applications. i was also getting applications with any kind of political or legislative act.
he -- activity. i think i said in my previous interview that i became a dumping ground probably around august 2010. so i was getting any case with any inkling that had legislative activity. at the same time, is getting slammed with calls from taxpayers who seem to have a legitimate right to complain about the process because they deserve some kind of answer at that time and that was three years ago. >> what happened to the tea party cases in your queue when you transferred? >> they were transferred to another agent. >> who is that agent? >> it was ron bell. >> do you know if he was able to make any progress in these cases? >> from what i understand, no. >> did you have any contact with taylor these cases subsequent to your transfer? -- did you have any contact with him on these cases
subsequent to your transfer? >> i would call him and give him the name of the applicant in the contact number to have him call them and tell them what was going on. >> did he indicate whether they've continued in a holding pattern? >> i was led to believe they were in a holding pattern. i believe he did say that. >> and these are just tea party cases, right? >> in october 2010, that's correct. >> what is a pink slip? >> a lot of these organizations have various activities, but a couple of the applicants had e- mail blasts on their website and you could send a pink slip to your calmest when are your senator. >> these are tea party groups? >> yes, they were tea party group websites. >> so you were [indiscernible] >> that was just one of their activities. if the activity was in the file,
i would ask about it. >> i just wonder what relevance that is to irs, mr. chairman. ?ould i ask her to answer that >> if the gentlelady would answer and then that is the end. > >> are jobless to determine and -- information to determine our job was to determine and get information to determine if they were for general welfare. and that was just a piece of the pie. >> thank you. >> i in a stand that you were originally assigned two party cases and had been transferred away from you in august 2011. is that correct? >> yes, that is correct. >> were you given any special instructions on how to work those cases? >> no, i was not. >> was anyone -- anyone give you special attention? >> no.
>> you told staff that you asked for a special card to be drawn up so you could put your time into that particular place, coordinating cincinnati cases. can you explain what you meant by this? >> each time we get a case, you get cards saying this is your case and that you are working at. because i knew i would be spending time on cordoning that coordinating picardie -- coordinating tea party cases, i asked for a card so that i could put my time prickly. >> did taking these cases add a significant burden to your workload? >> yes, it did. >> did it add to the responsibilities you already had? >> yes, it did. chris i want to talk about the process of having cases transferred from you. do you know why these cases were transferred from your
inventory to that of the other tax law specialist? >> i was never told the reason. >> where they transferred away from you in order to give them extra screening or two for the delay them? >> i have no knowledge of that. >> according to evidence gathered by the committee, it appears that these cases were transferred so they could be or would be worked more efficiently. a manager and the technical unit acknowledged your experience in working on 501 c three applications but told the committee that you are not moving fast enough on these cases. specifically said "it was taking longer time than i would expect for someone at his level ." he told committee staff that the cases you were working on had been "stagnant for a year and a half," so he and his manager decided to reassign the cases. you told committee staff that at first he was "more timely but, as the months dragged on, he became less timely and nonresponsive."
is a true? >> that is true. >> were you aware that they wanted to -- they wanted you to move more quickly in these cases? >> i cannot remember the mavericks person that to me. >> as we can see, the original tea party cases were not transferred within the technical units to be delayed and given extra scrutiny. instead, the opposite was true. these cases were transferred is a workhis already load to another tech specialist in order to ensure they would be processed more efficiently. thank you both. i yield. >> island to pick up on one thing, mr. hull. -- i just want to pick up on one thing, mr. hull. your cases were transferred to a republican. >> i have no knowledge of what his political affiliation was.
>> and you said you had not abouted any complaints your work speed or anything like that. >> not that i can recall, sir. >> and you never complained to him about his work speed or anything, did you? >> no, i did not. when you're, whenng at all of this, you're trying to figure out what part of a case or an organization's work is lyrical and which part is for general -- work is political and which part is for general welfare, is that a couple kate it -- is that a complicated process? how do you do that? >> it is facts and circumstances. >> so you have to go through
every case carefully. >> yes. chris would you agree with that? >> yes, i would. >> so you went to the cases and very carefully. the factual patterns of each one. >> of the two kisses that were assigned to me, yes, sir. >> what did you go through -- of the two cases that were assigned to me, yes, sir. >> what did you go through? >> went to the websites and have cases like this had been handled in the past and decide what my recommendation should be. >> thank you. >> renumbered to the gentleman from oklahoma. >> thank you both for being here. you have heard from people, when others talk about applications in groups, these folks have names and faces. some live in my district, some who have waited a very long time to get a response back so i appreciate both of your work and your diligence through the process on this. i understand the tea party test case were a sensitive case
report. >> a sensitive case report was sent up every month. >> i think we have one of those that staff has requested. i'm not sure if you can tell from where you are, but does this look like one of the sensitive test case reports? >> i can't actually read anything, but the form looks like it. >> the top part of it seems to have a template information and then the rest is filled in. this is the various tea party organizations are separately organized but appeared to be part of a national political movement that may be involved in clinical activity to the tea party organizations are being followed closely in national newspapers, such as "the washington post" almost on a regular basis. tosaid "met with j kendall
discuss organizations number two and three and service position. ms. kindle recommended additional activities that were forwarded to the chief counsel. coordinating between hq in cincinnati is continuing regarding recommendation letters." does this look like the document you had created? >> yes, it does here at >> did someone -- yes, does. >> did someone instruct you to create the report? >> my manager. met with joint, you kendall to discuss organizations to entry and service positions. what did you mean? >> whether or not the facts and go to the exemption or denial. >> so try to make a broad decision on that, you are waiting on decisions on a broader case cam.3
you push back saying this cannot be a template response. so i'm turned to determine the service position and what that might be in that conversation. >> in that point, i felt it would be decided by chief counsel. i had given my recommendations and i never received back one way or the other whether the recommendation was acceptable. >> you are continuing to wait on the counsel's office to be able to give your response back so you can finish up these cases can you are waiting on a service theseon knowing individual test cases you are working with and what would be the broader perspective as well. >> if we were able to tell from the facts and circumstances in each particular case whether they should be recognized as exempt, then i would be able to tell her that, yes, this
organization was recognized as file shed send her the said decide so she could find out what the story was for, she was transferred, it was going to mr. bell. >> but that is waiting on counsel's office to be able to respond to you to be able to get back to them. >> yes, sir. >> aside from the sensitive case reports for this, did you do that for any other political advocacy cases between march 2010 in july 2011? >> not that i am aware of, sir. >> further review is extremely rare. what did you mean by that? er usually, if my review agrees with me, the case went to a supervisor for signature. most cases only last that far. application cases. some
application cases go further up and some go to chief counsel. >> but in this case, the reviewer agreed with you. >> she neither agreed nor disagreed. >> it was just a hold on it. >> he also mentioned that lois thated came in and said these cases need to be referred to as advocacy applications, not a party applications. >> that's correct. >> was that all for all lyrical or just a particular tea party groups. these political or just particular tea party groups. you knew that she was referring to tea party groups. she said don't say that, just referred to them as advocacy groups. >> yes, sir. i want to talk you little
bit about -- i am way over here, i'm sorry. you will break your next getting all the way to the end of the hearing room. it is my understanding that in the two years following the citizens united to directly send money on campaign activity, the number of applications for 501(c)4 status nearly doubled. in the testimony i heard today and in previous hearings, it has become clear to me that there is no political motive, but there is confusion at best about what you do about the facts and circumstances review to figure out whether more than 49% of a 501(c)4's funding has been spent directly on political activity. following the line of questioning by my colleague from new york, i have such a bill that says that the 1959
congressional law says it is exclusive that the treasury rule says you can do 49% and it should have never been allowed. disorganized complete mess. i agree with this committee that however your -- you are objectively try to take objective information and identify what are not there has been a violation has caused great concern by this committee in particular. we should go back to exclusive. the point the chairman raised that they will not be able to advocate is not true. as long as they are taking the position, five a c three's are limited and 501(c)4's are not -- 501(c)3's are limited and 501(c)4's are not, i engaging in
political activity should not be allowed. you answered my colleague that that would simplify this issue and allow the irs to determine clearly and definitively who meets the standards for a 501(c) for and who does not. correct? say ans difficult to organization is about six -- in about 51% of their time in social welfare. there is no line that defined it. they usually fall one way or another. there is no bright line at the present time. still follown their basic 501(c)4 status, which means they can abdicate their position and do their social welfare work, disengage them -- disengaging them from political activity should not harm their organization.
if you want to engage in political activity, you can have a 527. there are clear organizational structures that are not tax exempt that would allow you to engage directly in political activity. in those organizations, those donors would have to be disclosed. correct? >> i do not know the answer. >> in that setting, it would be managing those efforts by members of, -- members of congress are required to do. based on the testimony today and prior testimony, it seems that the clear when ford -- forward seems to be yet we should solve it and make a 501(c)4's go back to what congress intended in 1959. they are exclusively for the purpose of social welfare. i yield back the remainder of my
time. on behalf ofboth the people of tennessee's fourth district and people across america. they are anxious to get to the facts on this case. one of your colleagues testified here briefly and proclaimed that she was innocent and did nothing wrong. that may very well be the case. i believe she knows possibly a lot more than the two of here, but she did not sit there and do what you are doing, and testify. the big unanswered question with all of these hearings is why were these groups targeted. yesterday, a witness was kind enough to be one of the first to amend the irs did target conservative groups. -- to admit the irs did target conservative groups. do the of you have an opinion -- either of you have an opinion on why these groups were targeted?
cannot answer that question. >> have you ever seen anything like it before? there were somewhat similar instances a long time ago. i am afraid my memory is him about it. >> it was not 40 years ago, was it? aware of any situation where applications were treated in these actions. >> so with very rare circumstances. we have folks here and i assume so the people you named today to interact with the commission. i do not know how high up they are. do they actually interact with the commission, some of your boss is? theywould imagine so -- do interact with the commission, some of your bosses? >> i would imagine so.
we were told it was a couple of rogue agents in cincinnati. that has been dispelled. the president may not know why this happened, but one of his political appointees did know. would you agree with that, that this targeting was going on? >> i have no factual basis to agree or disagree. >> the chief counsel is a political appointee, correct? >> from what i understand, that is correct. >> he testified that these cases were sent to the chief counsel's office. of that just made aware recently. >> this seems to be somebody who does not want the truth to come out. if there was nothing wrong, we would not be sitting here today and we would not continue to have these hearings. did you have a special
expertise, ms. hofacre, in this area of tea party organizations or this type of case you were asked to do? >> i have no specific expertise in political organizations. >> the you have any idea of why you signed he -- why you were a sign that? >> i was the emerging issues coordinator. >> did it ever dawn on you that this is kind of strange or that there is something we are going on here or that this is abnormal and i stood -- should suggest this to someone? >> the fact that i pursued another job is evidence of that. >> i approached it as two organizations for which i was to determine if they were exempt. >> he thought you were given an assignment and you were just doing your job.
-- you thought you were given an assignment and you were just doing your job. which it make your life easier if this was designed within the irs for someone to step up and say, i did this. wouldn't it make your life easier if someone on the president's team would step up and say, i did this so that the american people can start to regain the credibility of an agency that expects so much of them? >> i cannot comment on that. >> i know you are very brave to
come forward. you are just telling the truth. appreciate that. we hope for the sake of the country and everyone else that we do get to the bottom of this. there is something to be determined. thank you for your help. i yield back. .> i thank the gentleman we will go to the gentlelady from illinois. thank you for your years of service in vietnam and for your over 13 years of service in the arctic -- the army. i would like to ask about the involvement of the chief counsel in this process. it is my understanding that the irs office of the chief counsel reviews applications to provide legal advice. is that correct? >> yes, ma'am. denials are)
reviewed as part of the standard procedure. is that correct? >> i believe that is standard procedure. >> your boss asked counsel to review the two tea party case is you were working. you agree with that decision? >> i agreed that they should go to chief counsel, yes. >> we talked to a number of your colleagues to agreed. the committee spoke with a tax law specialist who took over the tea party cases you had been working and the established your workload was happy. -- and establish your workload was heavy. she told us on some issues it was common to ask the irs chief counsel post office for assistance in view of applications for tax-exempt status. i want to quote what she said. she said, it has been
applications that have received some media attention or when the law is really murky. those have been my experiences with the cases i have sent to them. mr. hull, do you agree with your colleague that the cases sent to the chief counsel are murky and go there for clarification? >> i do not believe i can colleague -- comment on the reasons they were given to the chief counsel. i am not aware of those particular markey things. >> the cases you have worked on -- >> i am not aware of those particular murky things. 501(c)3 questions have gone up because there have been denials and the chief counsel would have to defend them.
>> do you have any reason to believe your colleague who took over your two cases is bias groups?tea party >> i have no knowledge of that. thehere was a meeting about two specific tea party cases and drafting guidance for the development of political advocacy cases in 2012. a programim if it was for the chief counsel post office to review these two tea party cases. he said it would certainly be customary. it makes perfect sense. we have seen this situation before where they have a group of cases they sent over some time to look at. mr. hull, do you disagree with your colleague? >> i do not think i have enough knowledge to understand what he was getting at. i am not sure how long it has
been since i have sent a case to chief counsel. >> we spoke with an employee who worked with the technical group manager in washington, d.c. this employee said it was quite typical toussaint to chief counsel cases that were putting could dip -- particularly difficult. you agree with this statement with thiso you agree statement? >> that person would have had more knowledge. >> the you have any reason to believe the decision to have the chief counsel post office to review tea party cases was motivated by -- chief counsel's office to review tea party cases was motivated by political bias? no, i do not. >> numerous witnesses have told us this is not evidence of a political bias, but it was
common. if you have questions, that is why legal counsel was there, for additional clarification. we talked about the fact that if they are denied, they go right to the legal counsel. offow you have both moved of these -- all of these cases. ms. hofacre, you have moved to another position. mr. hull, your cases went to another appointee. -- another employee. thank you so much for being here. i yield back. you, mr. chairman. i have been fascinated by the evolution of the defense in this case. initially, it started when lois lerner disclosed information in a fashion most calculated to be ignoring -- to be ignored.
with a question at a boring conference. the second descent was blaming ohioogue agents in the field office. mr. chairman, make no mistake. jay carney advanced and further ed that narrative and he did so intentionally. to sayney's willingness i don't know is exceeded only by his willingness to a knowledge he appreciates the question. but he did not say i do not know. he advanced the narrative that two rogue agents were responsible for this insidious, discriminatory practice. then we have colleagues who said this matter was closed. months ago, mr. chairman, the matter was closed. of thee new iteration
defense is that at least the white house is not directly involved as if that is the new standards of propriety in this town. at least the white house did not directly know about it. ,nd then its morphed into this that the irs is too poorly managed to be capable of concocting a scheme this sophisticated. that was the defense. mine is too down to have committed this crime. client is too done to have committed this crime. and then we moved to the defense, we did not improperly target conservative groups, we are probably targeted all groups. though we may be guilty of improper conduct, we are not guilty of discrimination. we did it to people both ends of the political spectrum. and now to see the inspector general attacked.
axiom in court. if you have the facts, pound the facts. if you have the law, contour the law. if you do not have either, -- if thehave the law pounds law. sat where those two several weeks ago and these people defended this country and the constitution so that she could hide behind the constitution, invoke her fifth amendment rights, but only after she blamed them. two rogue agents in ohio. i should be thankful anytime irs
agents do not oppose the fifth amendment, whenever they come before congress and testify -- not invoke the amendment, whenever they come before congress and testify. but someone who does not have the courage to defend what they are doing. mr. hull, i appreciate your modesty. it is not something we see often in this town. you have been in service to the irs for exactly as long as i have been alive. 48 years. whether you want to be called an expert or not, you are one by virtue of your training, your expertise, and your education. so are you, ms. hofacre. if we are in a court of law, it would be stipulated that you are experts. i have heard about the complexity and the novel issues. mr. hull, there is nothing novel
about political activity. it has been going on as long as the country was founded. what is novel about determining political activity? case is looked at independent of the facts and circumstances. >> and you have done it 100 times, times 100 times. >> i am not aware of how many political cases i have worked. >> it is because you cannot count that high. there is nothing new about political activity. our new code, which we have god knows when, ascertaining 50% is not a new phenomenon. vexed by the complexity.
51% will disqualify you. the tax code has been around forever. what is new about this? why did we have to have test cases? why did we have to have washington involved in what strikes me as a simple analysis. i am out of time. recognizes ms. norton. .> thank you, mr. chairman, theout trying to answer gentleman's question about complexity, there can be a great deal of complexity. most loaded word in the english language is political. i want to graduate -- congratulate these two civil servants. they are civil servants of the irs, which congress cut by 30%. the president will not sign
that. it will not get through the senate. out of retaliation, somehow against what we are told is cutting by rogue agents, i do not see rugue agents. i see civil servants -- rogue agents. i see civil servants. it has a lot of complexity that comes before you every day. i congratulate you on the way you do it. i do not see targeting. i do not see confusion. you get into targeting, we are 121. -- one to one. forgive me for getting out the statute. it says social welfare organizations must be operated exclusively for the promotion
of social welfare. if it is primarily engaged in promoting the common good and welfare of the people of the community -- and then it goes on to define what it means by exclusively to say that an organization embraced within this section is one that is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvement. i would not want to be in your position to look first at the word exclusively and then primarily and try to figure it out. i do not see what so many are looking for. i want to find it if i can. so i looked to see why would anybody pick out anybody. that after citizens
united -- we are talking about 501(c)4's. to be a get by one 501(c)4? you do not get a tax exemption. you do not have to disclose or donors. and you can raise unlimited funds, is i am correct on that. isn't that true, you can raise unlimited funds, mr. hull? .> yes ma'am >> the figures are in on the surge in spending on the last campaign. almost 85% of bad surge in funds for 501(c)4 organizations that haverganizations conservative viewpoints.
after citizens united, it would not be unusual for those who wanted to spend a lot of money and had access to its -- and that is their right in this advantage of take a court decision and come forward in the numbers that they have not done before. could that not be reflected in seeing this large surge where you were assigned to look for this special group called tea party-type applications? >> did you have a particular question, ma'am? think, whether or not you the opportunity for bending unlimited amounts of money opened the door for people have that amount of money to spend to come forward or had access to it to come forward and say please
give us this status, which we have not had before. if you knew you could get funds in a way you had not thought of before because you can get unlimited funds, there would be reason to come forward and ask for the status that you have not done before? >> i am sure there would be. >> the gentlelady's time is expired. questionis a pending anyone wants to answer, go ahead. >> can we have a short break? >> we will take a five minute break now. while people are taking their seats, i want to announce that
we are expecting a series of votes. it is our hope that we will complete this panel by the time we leave for the votes. if we do, we will pick up the next panel afterwards. i want to announce for members that by agreement with the minority, there will be concurrent full committee and subcommittee hearings. it is your responsibility to go back and forth. we will accommodate people as they come in to take care of that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses for your time. one consistent theme has been the refusal of higher ups in the irs to take any responsibility for the malfeasance in the agency. testify in front of this committee and he said while this impropriety happened on his watch, he was not responsible even though he was the irs commissioner at the time. rogue agentslamed
in cincinnati. even jay carney falsely claimed political targeting was perpetrated by lion personnel in cincinnati. as the witnesses have explains today, the lack of response by the irs to applications to tax- exempt status effectively froze these tea partiers in place and was worse than a denial because the goods could not appeal a non-decision. i keep coming back to lois l erner and her role in all of this. she has left behind a trail of misinformation and obfuscation. she deliberately misled the public and the congress by ogue agents in
cincinnati by something she knew was being voted straight from washington, d.c. this was akin to a nuclear strike against employees in cincinnati. they were the ones she wanted to throw under the bus. the responsibility for her. blame the people we need you who may not be able to defend themselves effectively. even worse than that, she tried to cloak the illicit targeting she knew about by ordering that employees use advocacy groups instead of tea party. i just found it interesting that a couple of years ago, it was reported that she referred to six irs questionnaires -- questioneers as behavior changers. she needs to answer for her behavior. this committee found that she waived her fifth amendment
rights when she testified in front of the committee. i think she should be required to testify as we get more and more information. it is becoming increasingly clear to me that if there were roguegue agents, that agent was lois lerner. >> i want to take a point of privilege for a moment. earlier, you said something and you took a shortcut. i want to make sure i make something very clear. when i referred to my ranking member -- when we are not sparring over politics, he and i worked very well together. i talked about methinks she doth protest too much and we were talking about things not being , but being yearly -- here in washington.
i have been offended by my ranking member wanting to defend the white house, whom i have not accused. i took a shortcut in how i expressed it. littletalked about the boy putting his hand in the cookie jar, i am and talking about what cookie jar, what hand? that is something i grew up with. it is intended to be about a small child and in no way the use of a boy or a little boy to be anything else. the ranking member and i enjoy a personal relationship that is, by definition, strained because of our jobs, but not because of how we respect each other. make itings, i want to very clear that that difference of opinion should be expressed in a way that you understand that you and i disagree about
policies, but never about our individual roles. i want to make sure that is clear because the press to the use of little boy in a way that would never come out of my thought, much less deliberately out of my mouth. to the extent that anyone is offended, i do not want it to be you. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate your words. words can be taken out of context and twisted. i appreciate it and i know you mean that. we differ sometimes on our views, but at the end of the day, the respect level is still extremely high. i really appreciate that. >> i thank the gentleman. illinois, mr.from davis, has a full five minutes. >> thank you very much. i want to thank all witnesses for not only their stamina, but
also for what i call their careful, analytical, and professional way they have responded to many highly-subject of questions. your longte both service to the agency, as well as your professionalism. yesterday, the principal deputy commission of the internal revenue service -- commissioner of the internal revenue service testified before this committee that progressive groups received treatment from the irs that was similar to tea party groups when they apply for tax-exempt status. congressman sander levin, the ranking member of the ways and means committee, explained the similarities in more detail. he said the irs took years to
resolve these cases, just like the tea party cases. transferredthe irs these groups to be exempt organization's technical unit, made them the subject of a sensitive case report, and had them reviewed by the office of chief counsel. according to the information provided, some of these progressive groups actually had their applications denied after a three year wait. and the resolution of these cases happened during the time that the inspector general reviewed for its audit. the inspector general objected to the release
of this information to the public. i can only ask you about these prove in a baking manner -- vague manner. ms. hofacre, were you aware of any groupings of progressive organizations which can be determinations unit? >> when i was involved in the project in 2010, i was not aware of any such grouping. >> were you aware of how these cases were being processed? >> in 2010, i did not have any awareness of how they were being processed. >> the you know they were being treated in a manner that was similar to your tea party bruce? >> i have no knowledge -- were you aware they were being treated in a manner similar to your tea party groups? >> i have no knowledge of that. know who in do you
the washington technical unit was assigned these applications? >> the you have any information you can share with the committee about how such groups were screened or read utah? .> no, sir, i cannot congressman levin has been able to read you these groups. he turns are included in the screen and workshop training slide show from july of 2010. it appears from that document that screeners were told to look for names like the ones in these groups, as well as the terms progressive and tea party and patriot and 9-12 project. certainly from this document, it
appears that the tea party moves were not treated differently than progressive groups. rather, they appeared to be handled in a similar manner. that to, do you agree determine if a group has been singled out and treated differently than its peers, it is important to review how all similarly situated groups were handled? myi think that is above grade level, sir. i would not be able to comment on that. >> based on the evidence before us, the inspector general's report did not tell us the full story on how the internal revenue service handled applicants with political advocacy issues between 2010 and 2012. i hope the reviews will provide
relevant information in those directions can be made. i thank you again and i yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman. we are now going to complete as many as we can just pass -- as many as we can as fast as we can before we go to the vote. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your perseverance today and for the witnesses. i have struggled to find out, as we continue to pursue these tea , trying to find out how cases were handled normally, ms. hofacre, before tea party got put into your life. first, you were working in a division with the responsibility for you was to make decisions about people who were applicants for these 501(c)4
designations. is that not accurate? >> yes, sir. >> during that time, you had to make decisions numerous times about the very characteristics we have identified. that would include the possibility that some of it might be political activity and some of it might be advocacy for their activity. correct? >> i worked cases that have all kinds of activities. and all kinds of exemptions. >> once you made a conclusion that those passed muster, what then? ofwe would provide a summary the case, use the appropriate law, and come to some kind of conclusion. my manager would decide whether or not to approve the case. >> if your manager sign up -- signed off on the case, what
happened then? >> if it were not mandatory leave you, the applicant would get their letter. designated mandatory review? >> there were numerous cases that were designated as mandatory you. >> that is what happened with the tea party cases at some point in time? >> it may have happened after i left. >> normally, you were able to make a recommendation. your supervisor in cincinnati approved it. had thethose cases exemptions granted and they went on their way. >> that is correct. >> when you were making those calculations, there were questions you asked. who designed the questions? >> in this -- individual quest -- individual agents and myself decide the questions. >> that was part of the
individual analysis. no one else was looking at the questions to make that calculation? >> generally, that was the case. >> when you were assigned this class of cases, working on the tea party cases, was this the first time you had to automatically make sure it went to eo technical? >> that would be correct. >> when you ask the questions at the outset, did you design that questionnaire? >> mr. hull provided me of a copy of the letter he sent to his applicants. allr. hull, did you design of the questionnaires that were used in applications for the tea party? >> with regard to the two cases that were assigned to me, i prepared a letter asking for additional information from the organization. no one reviewed it.
i signed it. just a letter. >> how complex was that letter? were there a lot of issues that were being asked for? >> i do not recall the exact number of questions. usually, it was not more than a page or a page and a half of questions. depends on the circumstances, sir. he get any other questions that were directed to you from washington, d.c.? >> no, i did not. >> when you forwarded these questions to eo technical, it was your responsibility, mr. make the recommendations? >> windy applications came in, there was a managing that -- when the application came in,
there was a manager that look to them over with me. then that did not have to be done any more. >> when that change, how did it change? he decided he did not need to see any more. i am presuming you make determinations to send them back down to cincinnati and that was the resolution. it was either granted or appealed. >> i made suggestions to ms. hofacre on the letters that need to be set out for information. >> when was it chains that there was a requirement for you to send -- when was it changed that there was a requirement that you had to send it to two others, including the chief counsel to resolution? >> i had to send it to the chief counsel to find out what would be appropriate as far as they were concerned. when i finally learned what was appropriate, i would be able to tell ms. hofacre and she outlined her questions.
>> i want to thank you. i was just asking about routine process. >> i thank the gentleman. he will complete this panel you will be excused following his questions. >> on the reform side of things, both of you had an extensive history with the agency. we thank you for your service in your experience. do you have any suggestions as to how this process might be speeded and made to run more smoothly? >> i never thought about suggestions in that regard, sir, as to how it might go faster. it never occurred to me. >> ms. hofacre? many unknownso variables and classes to a question like that. i am not in the position to give an answer. >> people thought they were being in the late -- people
thought they were being delayed. i did not know if it were a lack of manpower or lack of clear guidance to what it might be. if you have not thought about it, you have not thought about it. i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman. that allows us to dismiss the panel. i want to thank you for your years of service. i want to thank you for your patience. we know you were asked the same questions over and over again. we know you heard the same speeches over and over again. you have moved us in a decisive way toward our next level of investigation. i did not expect to ask you to come back. i expect you to enjoy your retirement, mr. hull. hope yourfacre, i career is as long as you want to have it. something tells me it may not be
48 years. a fully, we have not diminished your confidence in congress. >> i, too, want to thank both of you for your service. one of the most painful things i have heard since i have been here is when you said there were threats to you and your family. that is totally on fortunate. if there is anything we can do -- i know the chairman joins me in that -- we want to make sure .e do what we can to help you , in your you, mr. hull testimony has been quite helpful. thank you. >> we stand recessed for the next panel.
of witnesses. russell george is treasury inspector general for tax administration. he comes to us with michael mccarthy, the chief counsel for treasury inspector general for tax administration and mr. the assistant inspector general for inspector general for tax administration. you are the guy who digs into it. pursuant to the committee rules, as you all know will you please rise to take the oath. ? do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truce. let the record show that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. there will be only one opening statement for all three of you, given by the inspector general.
we would not observe the five minutes. take the time you reasonably meet. you are the only witness. mr. mccarthy welcome back. for many years, you looked from this side of the table. he wondered what it would be like on that side. today, you find out. >> thank you mr. chairman. i look forward to it. >> thank you for the opportunity to address specific issues that have been raised related to our report published may 14, 2013, on inappropriate criteria used by the internal revenue service to identify tax-exempt applications for review. our report included the reaching findings. first that the internal revenue service use inappropriate criteria that identified for review all the positions --
organizations applying for tax- exempt status based on their name rather than on treasury regulations. wered, applications referred for review potential political cases. there were requests for information. at an american, bar association conference held in washington, d.c., the director of exempt organizations for the irs at the time stated, instead of referring to the cases as advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list. they, the determinations' unit in cincinnati, ohio, -- determinations unit in cincinnati ohio, used tea party criteria if they
have those names in the title. that was wrong. she also stated that some cases were delayed and unnecessary questions were asked, confirming ey information in our report. the ira's apologize the- ira's apologize. miss lerner made her statement report wasbefore our completed. it has been asserted back ticta concluded that the irs inappropriately targeted conservative organizations. that narrative is based upon ms. lerner'stays men, not on ticta lerner'ssion-- -- ms.
statements, not on ticta's conclusions. as of the end of may, 2012, the with a list ticta of organizations that the irs had selected for further scrutiny. the report focuses on the terms tea party, a patriot, and nine- 12. the irs -- 9-12. the irs provided us with a document that showed these were the terms they used to select the potential political cases. i submit for the record a document the irs provided to my organization on may 17, 2012
while we were still in the planning phase of our audit. this document is purported to be the language to be in the on the blue -- on the lookout to describe political cases. we focused our audit on the entries shown in this document precisely because the irs represented that these with the criteria relevant to potential political cases. the irs provided us with additional names and policy positions that were used to select cases including patriot and 9-12. the scope of our audit include the process the irs used to review applications for groups potentially involved in the campaign into an engine. during the audit, our understanding was that the other entries were not used to select cases for this type of
specialized review. as new information emerges, we are continuing to review whether this is accurate. in interviews, e-mails, and documents, we found repeated discussions of the use of tea party and other related criteria described in our audit report. 2010ocuments from july, listing the term progressive, but noting that progress since are not considered tea partiers -- tea partiees were provided to but they were not provided during our audit. i am very disturbed that these documents were not provided to our auditors at the outset. we are currently reviewing this
issue. to follow up on the information that other terms like progressive and occupied appeared in various sections of the list, we conducted additional analyses to provide members of congress with the data we had been to the interest in this issue. we do not have full audit findings on the use of these other criteria. with respect to the 298 cases the irs collected for political review, as of the end of may 2012, three have the word regressive in the organization's name. another four used progress. none of the 298 cases selected by the irs as of may 2012 used the name occupy. i know you have questions and so do we on the other be on the lookout listings. may 17, date of the
2012 document until we issue our report one year later, irs staff at multiple levels concurred with our analysis, citing tea party, a patriot, and 9-12 and whatin policy positions as the irs used for potential political cases. we were concerned about the appropriateness of other criteria appearing in the listings. we took prompt action after our report was issued to follow-up on those concerns and communicate them to congress consistent with legal restrictions on the release of confidential taxpayer information. the names of the 298 groups and the majority of the information on the listings are return information has the find on section 6103.
prohibited by law from disclosing this information to members of this committee and to the public. we provided this information to the acting commissioner on may 28, 2013 and recommended that he review whether the listings was still in use and whether they were appropriate. he has since announced he has taken action on the suggestion and this ticket the use of be on the lookout listings. we also provided this to committees authorized by statute to receive tax information. our office of audits also referred to the irs use of other office ofigta investigation for further review.
i fail to disclose to congress that we had no evidence of political motivation. i believe the record shows otherwise. when i testified before this committee on may 22, 2013, representative car right implied -- inquiry as to whether tigta had employees that were screeningby political criteria. we had received no evidence to -- during the course of our audit to that effect. when i testified before the committee on ways and means, ranking member 11 inquired, did tigta find any evidence of political motivation in the test applications? i responded that we did not. the letter from a ranking member
cummings states that i may have improperly permitted disclosure of relevant information. that is not correct. irs attorneysnd independently determined that certain taxpayer information should be redacted. following that decision, the irs told us it had changed its mind about one entry. this was an interpretation that we requested additional information about at our lawyers continue to have a dialogue regarding it. it is important that i be clear on this point. none of this information has been withheld from congress. unredactedded an form to the committee entitled to receive this information weeks ago. since the information in our report, congress, the department of justice, the internal revenue service, and tigta has been
reviewing the issue concerning iris's processing of tax-exempt processingn -- irs' of tax exempt information. lerner revealed information on our on issued a report, her statement confirmed the findings in our report. we provided irs officials with several opportunities to comment on our findings. they consistently agreed that tea party and related criteria described in our report with the criteria the irs used to select cases for review of potential campaign intervention during the 2012 time frame that we reviewed. members of this committee. this concludes my testimony. >> thank you for being here
today. , 21-610 great extent come from the irs itself, is that correct? quite that is my understanding. -- >> that is my understanding. >> and the intent of 6103 was to protect confidential information from members of congress and others diving into it and extracting personal information for whatever use that would be thus inappropriate, is that right? >> among many others, not just members of congress. >> right. and it will be on the books. let me ask you first a question -- are you interpreting 6103 in youryears since 2004 and
two deputies there, substantially the same as your predecessors? >> yes. >> does it frustrate you that often a victim can in fact be denied the ability to get information as a result of that law? >> it is extremely frustrated, mr. chairman, and it is counterintuitive that someone who may be the victim of a tax related crime, incident, what have you, can complain to us, can complain to members of congress, and that we have limited opportunity to provide them with an outcome of any investigation that we conduct. our own house counsel has his legitimate times after -- under speech and debate him a has said mue -- numerous times that under speech and debate, we can predict inclusion. but roughly, wrongfully, has
interpreted 6103. isn't it true that each body, the senate and the house, produced their own rules as to who receives 6103? defer to my chief counsel on the sir. >> mr. chairman, the house rules and the senate rules, they can't determine. the way the statute is written as the chairman of the committee on ways and means, on finance in the senate, and the staff rector of the joint committee on taxation can make requests for information from the treasury department. whothen they can designate they will share it with. in closed session in some circumstances. >> i understand your they can also make the final determination on whether they agree with the 6103 or not at the body. so when they get unredacted information, they then usually work with your organization and make decisions on what should be
redacted before release, is that right? >> i believe we do have discussions, but they are not limited at all. >> they make the final decision, although they work in consultation with yours and offices. >> i don't know if i would use the word work in conference -- in consultation. to make determinations on their own. >> if i understand correctly because mr. cummings and i are very much in agreement on the need to protect victims and get full disclosure to the public as appropriate -- the senate, i've i understand it, the chairman over their shares with the ranking member, is that correct? >> yes. chairman baucus has authorized that we share information with its staff as well as the ranking member hatch and his staff. >> so they have made a decision that includes more than a dozen people. >> that is correct. >> and the house of comity similar decision. similar has not made a decision. >> the letter we received from german camp included
members of the republican staff. i beli shared between the majority staff in the minority staff, however, we do not have anrrently on file authorization on file allowing us to share that. camp, you comply with that under the law? but iould have to review, believe that is accurate. >> i just want to make sure that we understand that to the extent that somebody puts it back on 6103 we have two problems. one is to make sure that the scope is narrow enough that it only includes 62103, and that is , andto consideration secondly the question of who gets the information, which currently in error -- an open session would not be appropriate, but even close would not be available to us. quite that is correct, sir. -- >>, that is correct, sir.
>> george, your need to err on the side of caution, just prefer, if you were wrong, and you came before us and you would you be3, protected by speech and debate? >> no. >> what could happen to you if you released 6103 information? >> anywhere from removal from position to possible criminal charges. >> thank you, ranking member. >> thank you. i want to begin with her chairman left off. asking you some troubling test money we heard yesterday about the efforts to personally intervene to block this committee from receiving documents. i listen to what you just said, and i him taken into consideration as i ask. at the hearing yesterday, the new acting head of the irs, mr. iffel, tested mode asked is irs was going to send
assignments last week with information related to categories of progressive or left-leaning groups that may have received treatment similar to the tea party applicants. it determined that it was permissible to share this information with our committee because it related to groups rather than specifically identifiable taxpayers. youmr. warfel said personally intervened and objected to the legal determination of the career, officials who make these determinations for a living. i want to read exactly what he said yesterday under oath. and then get your response. he said "we were imminently going to produce a document in an unredacted form that would indicate the identity of a grouping of entities that we felt were similar in a kind of scope as tea party in terms of its grouping so that it would
not be able -- you would not be able to identify a particular taxpayer because the grouping and was so broad." and he, meaning you mr. george, he reached out when he learned that we were about to produce this information, and expressed concern and indicated a disagreement with our internal exploits on whether this protectedn puts 6103 or not. mr. george, is that true? did you personally contact mr. warfel's office? >> yes, i did. and i explain why? >> sure. >> i was contacted by counsel on my staff about the overall situation that you described, and that there was a dispute, there was a concern because the career irs officials that you warfel had, mr.
indicated, their original position was that this was 6103- protected information. low and behold after all of this is broken to the public, they all of a sudden changed their legal decision, position on this. and without providing me personally with a legal analysis. i've had subsequent conversations with my staff, and we are still in the process of discussing this, but if i'm going to err, i will err on the side of protecting confidential tax or information, not some willy-nilly decision by some unnamed career irs employees to release sensitive i -- sensitive tax or information or >> i understand your term willy- nilly, but these were not willy- nilly people, as i understand it. let me finish -- i think you need to be careful with those kinds of words. warfel --to mr. will
mr. warfel, there were experts. we asked mr. warfel is this a heaven before, and expect her general intervening -- an inspector general intervening based on a disagreement with career irs experts, and he went back to his office and checked in and provided us with this response. let me read it, and keep in mind, according to law, he is still under oath. "i had my staff check with the disclosure counsel, and one retired disposal council. none of the people we checked with the recalled a situation with the inspector general old the irs their planned release of information by the iris would constitute a section 6103 determinedafter they a particular information was releasable to the public or to 6103."s under section mr. george, he is basically
saying your intervention is unprecedented. >> there is first time for everything, sir. i repeat -- i would rather make a mistake on protecting the privacy of a taxpayer than making -- >> i understand your gluttony finished third here is my concern -- first, your report is close the tea party had agreed. then, several weeks later, we learned there was also a progressive category. then a week after that, we discover there was a category four occupy groups. and now we understand that there are other progressive category, but that you intervened to ravenna something impaired mr. george mr. george, our goal is to have as much information as possible so we can draw accurate conclusions about the treatment of all of the groups, the said earlier in the hearing, we do not just represent an server groups. i have a lot of conservative groups and my izzard, believe it or not, and i will fight for them just as hard as i will groups.r liberal mr. warfel testified that the
irs has bit of the position that he has that further discussions with the office, and if you withdraw your rejection, he will send over the documents to our committee. so you said those discussions are continuing, is that we said? >> that is correct. correct and if you all can come to an agreement, you will allow us to see those documents or cracks -- those documents. >> yes. >> are they planned meetings already? >> their ongoing, it will be sooner rather than later but like i understand. as i understand -- other) mr. chairman, see what. we have visa documents, we want you to stay within the law. i don't want you to get in trouble or anything like that, but i want to make sure that there is some kind of decision made, and we know about it because we want this investigation to go forward, so
that is very important for us. i think the information would be helpful. >> if i may, two things -- one, this information had been provided to congress to the committees with the ability to receive 6103 information. so we are not withholding anything. two, progressive, we just learned recently that that name was being used by the internal revenue service. and, as i indicated in my opening statement, we just as recently as last week received new information that is disturbing and that we need to pursue. so, this is not a clean-cut matter. there is a lot going on here. >> i'm not saying it is clean- cut. i'm just saying we would like to know -- i mean, you just said a number of things just in that one minute, but apparently this is an ongoing process. we are in an ongoing process. and you are try to do your job, and we're trying to do hours. all i am asking you to do is as as information becomes available
things that do not violate your -- the research is that you have, for example, 6103 problems, we would like to have it. thank you very much. >> let me ask a few questions, if i may. all, this, first of with different tea 9/11 requesting a tax-tification as exempt organization, and and as i recall, the motivation was by a number of members of congress who said what is going on here, we have reports from our constituents that -- is that sort of the genesis of this? >> in addition to media reports -- >> right, about this going on.
and you testified today, you conducted an audit, it was not an investigation, we know that. that irsoned today provided you with this list of 298 organizations, tea party, pager, 9/11, that is correct. so it is not something that you just went after on your own. did you hear the witness today from cincinnati? we have had a whole bunch of folks say this is cincinnati, cincinnati, and the committee -- howng to act to find out this all occurred, who was responsible for what. , was a half today acre, she said that all of her cases were tea party or i guess referred,nd they were
she was looking for guidance from washington. is that we found in your audit? found -- i only heard bits and pieces of her testimony -- >> the answer is yes. >> the answer would be yes. the questions recently is how were progressives treated, and it has been intimated that you have tried to block certain mayrmation or groups that have gone after or treated. is there any indication that progressives were treated differently? in your part of the audit, did you look at progressives? you said a few minutes ago this is a fairly recent -- >> we looked at the criteria they give us for the bolo's that only tea party on it.
yourd that was the crux of -- >> on may 17, 2012, they give us the bolo list, which is what mr. george submitted for the record in his opening statement, and on that listing was the tea party criteria iteration that started in pre-bolo's in may 2010 and went all the way through when the cincinnati staff change the criteria back to include policy positions -- >> and he traced that all the way up to ms. lerner and her staging and coming out on may 10 , 2013. that was your testimony. she was the one that actually confirmed conservative targeting. that is what you testified today. what you were seeing is a diversionary tactics to try to undermine your audit and your report, from my standpoint, they tried to undermine my chairman, they try to close down the investigation, they tried to keep us from moving forward. now, you are not through with
your investigation, are you? >> that is exactly right. >> i said audit or review. >> if you don't mind, thank you, sir, because that is an important distinction. suffice to say that we're working with the fbi and the department of justice. witnessesd those today, one from cincinnati testified and created a direct link to washington. then we heard from mr. hall, a 48-year. he continued the link up to lois lerner close the office, and he had also indicated that one of the two political appointees -- did you get that far? how far have you gotten in tracing it up the line? >> we do not interview anyone from chief counsel's office. but our timeline shows the chief out of office was consulted at some point -- >> you can confirm that -- >> we can confirm that.
in anin, we are all ongoing review of how this started, what took place, who was responsible. ms. lerner has exercised, at least initially, her fifth amendment right, we may be calling her back, but this is an ongoing process. do you think it should be closed down, mr. george? >> not at all. the moment i was made of the fact that other groups were similarly, you know, spotlighted by the irs, i directed my staff to commence a review of that. given the work we're doing with the fbi and the department of justice, we have to -- many of the things we would otherwise be doing to allow for the completion of their work or that work. >> and you are dotting your i's and crossing your t's. thank you. my time has expired. let me see -- we have mr.
connelly is next. you are recognized, sir. >> thank you. i hope that. >> do i. -- thank you. mr. george, we all have political backroads. he saw yourself as a nonpartisan professional, is that correct? >> yes, it is, sir. >> there has been reports with the scope of your audit or including the spokesperson in your office that you met with the chairman of this committee and essentially he helped limit the scope of the review. >> that is incorrect, sir. the report i did see -- but that did not occur. >> so karen crowe shot, your spokesperson, who quoted, "darrell issa had specifically requested that investigators "merrily focus on tea party
organizations," so they did just that," according to her. c on what basis would she make a statement on your behalf to the press? sir.e misspoke, >> she misspoke. did you in fact have meetings about the nature of this office. >> i had one meeting, and i was berated because he thought i fails to provide information to him that he thought he was entitled to. i'm sorry, what? this was just put out to me that this was after the audit was issued. statements -- >> so other statements attributed to you, if you you what i had a conversation about
the pie chart. 200 22 of 298 organizations were not identified. do you remember your answer under oath to me when i asked you could that 202 include progressive organizations? >> i recall the discussion. >> "we were unable to make that determination, sir, because the names were neutral in that you cannot in his early attribute it one particular affiliation or another," yet that is not exactly what you said to me in july in your letter to me on this very same subject. you said it would be inappropriate for a nonpartisan risk -- inspector general to apply political labels toward organization based solely on the name of the organization and subjective assertions about what those names mean. that seems to be a variance with what you said to me in may. >> i beg to differ, sir. i do not see an inconsistency in that at all. i believe that the statement i made about the in
appropriateness of nonpartisan inspector general to determine progress -- i have no idea what that stands for, sir. teddy roosevelt ran for president under the progressive already banner. would you consider him a democrat or republican? >> today, i most certainly would. squishy and liberal. but that is a different matter. i want to make sure, you are under oath again, it is your testimony today, as it was in may, let's limited to today. at the time he testified herein may, you have a slew -- here in may, you absolutely no knowledge that any screen, bolo's or otherwise, the words progressive, democrat, moveon, never came up here you are only looking at tea party and conservative related labels. you are on a weight -- unaware of any flag it could be seen on the progressive side. >> i was unaware of the 298 names except for tea party, 912,
and patriot. >> no knowledge at that time. >> i was aware of those groups being on that list. subsequently, it was made aware to me of groups that might have progress in it, that's groups might have some other names. i have to be careful, sir, because if i get some of the names, i am in violation of 6103. >> but you did give names about the tea party. >> that is a grouping. >> oh, i see. so one is not avail asian, one is. so let me -- a violation, one is. let me ask you, the same time you are at this table in may, you had already, and you knew you had, asked for an investigation of a total -- or examination, up 55 even on this subject matter. >> i'm glad you raised the issue because it is important that this matter be clarified. i was told that there was a
smoking gun, that there was an e-mail that the internal revenue service provided to us that indicated that someone erected the targeting of tea party groups, and as such eight -- such an e-mail existed. the auditors and investigators are two different parts of tigta , 5000 e-mails, i do not recall the timing, i might refer to mr. kutz to give a little more flavor, but the auditors did not have the wherewithal to go through all 5000, whatever the number was, e-mails. it was not brought to me -- it was right my attention because of the due diligence. , inspectory deputies general, for investigations to use the facilities that he had, the capabilities that he has, to go and review that. [indiscernible] >> i would just say that irs
said at one point there was a may 2010 e-mail that elaborated the bolo criteria that was being used. that was a pre-bolo before. the bolo list was developed in august. who authorized and develop the criteria -- that was what was in the referral to oi, the office of investigations. >> thank you. mr. jordan is waiting. >> to record the information the recordnnie -- information act, mr. connolly referred to, said it should not really sustains, is that accurate? >> if i could expand on -- >> please just answer this question. i just want to know the number. we'll need to know the names, how many entities are we talking about that mr. cummings want you to make outlook and that you
think they are 6103 concerns. >> there was one raised by the irish council that they had changed their position on and there is second one that they believe would be treated similarly -- >> two entities, not to terms, two entities -- >> to terms at this point. i don't know how many entities. >> do have an idea you go -- do you have an idea? >> no. >> i'm looking at your test money, mr. george, progressives were provide to tigta on july 9, 2013. we are currently reviewing the issue. what can you tell us? without violating 6103. >> great question, sir. i do not know whether they were withheld intentionally, i don't know the circumstances. i may differ to mr. kutz if he has additional information. i don't know because i just learned about this.
>> throughout the entire audit, during may 17, the documents a minute for the record, we were giving a lesson -- we were given a listing of the bolo -- >> i know what you are saying because you said it once, the irs staff at multiple levels concurred with our analysis. so they had all kind of opportunity to tell you this was there. they did not tell you. suddenly it appears because the democrats are talking about it, appears out of nowhere, you are currently reviewing appeared is there anything else you can tell us about the current review? therels me i'm concerned may be that additional pieces of information we don't have it i am concerned about that, sir. >> i just want to walk through the numbers. this is largely developed from your report and interviews and e-mails that our staff has looked at. when you walk through this, we started february 2010, you have one tea party case, you have nothing anywhere on the aggressive man, occupying them, whatever term is being used.
you moved on into march, you have 10-0. you move down, 18-0, then is somewhere between 14 and 60 20. then it is 96-7 at the score, and none of those were denied the status that they thought, and if i do math right, there are 195 cases you not know about. 12 today reported applications from liberal progressive groups got some kind of thursday -- scrutiny, they'll get approved. none of the tea party conservative groups were. there is obviously a disparity here. the evidence is not .2 that at all, what mr. connolly has raised. >> again, i will review because you have artie seen it, it shows relative --o's were relevant. were testingo's
oh, related to fraud, abuse -- >> everything you guys have looked at, the heightened scrutiny, the delay, the fact that these groups were never approved, the fact that when they hung out in this limbo status, they were denied the opportunity to appeal any decision because there was no decision rendered. everything you looked at, that happened with tea party 912, patriot three, conservative groups, corrects? the criteria in our report is what we understand to be accurate. >> i under stand. mr. chairman, i yield back. i justchairman, could have a unanimous consent? >> no problem. -- wet before we knew were finished, i was going to submit for the record, -- on the subject we were talking about and review of the city 500 e- mails. >> without objective. lex i think the chair. -- >> i thank the chair.
the panel for being here. according to mr. hall, we have the privilege of listening to with his direct test money. drink a meeting of july 2011, ms. lerner instructed her subordinates to -- is that right? >> what she did is she changed the criteria to no longer include tea party names, if that is what you are referring to. this is when it was changed from tea party. >> that is correct. >> that is what is in the document. >> just to be clear, the test cases he was working in washington on were both filed by groups affiliated with the tea party movement, right? >> only